BADGER doesn’t understand the concept of things trendily called ‘microaggressions’.

When Badger’s hacked off, he doesn’t stint on venting his frustrations and anger. However, Badger doesn’t hate people with contrary points of view to his own.

Anger fundamentally differs from hatred in its aim.

Easily (and often wrongly) aroused, disturbing to witness, feel, or be the object of, anger is more limited, more restricted than hate.

The angry person feels personally wronged in some manner by the person against whom they are angered. In return, they want the other person to feel pain, be punished, and experience retribution.

While anger and hatred often tend to produce the same kind of actions — hostile, in some way aggressive, damaging — angry people feel pain, are more impassioned and don’t think things through.

You can be angry against the individual, but it tends to be a momentary thing – an outburst.
Hatred is all-encompassing and selfish.

The person who hates can be calmer, reasoned, even calculating.

Hatred is a way of life; it’s a long-term commitment to negating others and their ideas. It’s not individually focussed; hatred targets a group of people with characteristics and beliefs haters don’t want to exist. Hate refuses to acknowledge others’ existence except in the negative.

Suppose you hate a whole tranche of individuals to the point you wish they and their thoughts did not exist. In that case, you move beyond reason and into irrationality. There’s no arguing with you because you have already excluded the possibility of any context that would validate an opposing view.

Once you deny that ideas have a right to exist, it’s a short, obsessive step to decide that the people who hold them should be erased.z

Badger has lately been vexed – nay, readers, peeved – by the smallness of some people’s view of the world. It must be disheartening for some people to discover that while they’re the centre of their world, they’re not the centre of the world.

He doesn’t know what distresses him more: whataboutery or shithousery.

But – thankfully – not everyone in the world is motivated by the worse angels of human nature.

During the early stages of the pandemic, Badger wrote about the way small communities came together to help out each other and others less fortunate than themselves.

Last week, he was reminded that good works, done for no reward, had not ended with the relaxation of lockdown and the return to whatever passes for normal.

Pembroke Dock Cricket Club distinguished itself in 2020. Its players and committee did the best they could to feed and clothe those in need. They held a charity match that raised over £2500 for the local NHS. They played a programme of friendly fixtures without competitive league cricket that cemented the links between them and other clubs in Pembrokeshire.

Pembroke Dock CC had a stellar 2020.

In 2021, they’ve done far better.

Setting aside the Club’s playing success, they built ties with Homeless Pembrokeshire before the season began. They donated 250 Easter eggs to the charity.

At the end of April, the Cricket Club joined the stand against online abuse and racism by closing down its very active social media channels for twenty-four hours.

Throughout the season, the Club provided space to hold essential items to raise the quality of living of those in need. It set up a delivery point for basic items for those homeless, “sofa-surfing”, or trapped in poor-quality accommodation.

When one of the Club’s players suffered severe injuries in an accident at a beach, it redoubled its charitable efforts. With a charity match already scheduled to raise money for mental health charities, the Club set about raising money to support their stricken player and his family in extraordinarily difficult circumstances.

A Go Fund Me page set up by Katie Jones raised over £15,000.

When the weather allowed the Charity match to go ahead, Pembroke Dock Cricket Club raised £7,000 for local mental health charities and their friend. By the time it got to the end of the Club’s presentation night, they’d raised £4,000 for him.

And in the meantime, the Club continued to take donations for Homeless Pembrokeshire. Even their youngest members helped sort out donations and contribute.

But the autumn hasn’t stopped the Dock players from carrying on their good work.

On the weekend before Badger’s birthday (hint), they’re off again. Club players will take part in the Welsh Three Peaks Challenge.

The Welsh Three Peaks Challenge takes in the three peaks of Wales: Snowdon in the North, Cadair Idris in mid-Wales, and Pen y Fan in the South. It includes a total walking distance of 17 miles and an ascent of 7657 feet.

The players and supporters will do this for the mental health charities Signposted Cymru and Tackle Your Thoughts and – again – for their injured teammate.

Caring for others, showing compassion for people you’ve never met and helping your friends is mighty hard work.

It takes commitment, time, energy, effort, and skill.

Next year, a team called “Pembroke Dock” will appear in the first division of the Pembrokeshire Cricket League for the first time.

That’s taken commitment, time, energy, effort, and skill.

But when it comes down to it, the difference Pembroke Dock Cricket Club has made to its community is an even bigger triumph than getting to Division One.

Whatever the Club achieves on the pitch next year will not be greater than what it’s achieved over the last two years off it.

This isn’t a story that comes wrapped up in a little parcel with a bow on it. Still, every time Badger comes to think about the awfulness of some people and their shite-hawkery, people like the players and supporters of Pembroke Dock CC cheer him up.

Hatred is selfish: compassion is universal.

In dark times, you take your light where you find it: Elly Neville showed what a determined individual could do, and Pembroke Dock Cricket Club picked up the torch and carried on.